What Is Masculinity? The Truth Behind What Women Want in Men

As a man, you’ve heard this come from hundreds of women, “I want a real man.” It sounds great on paper, but what is masculinity and manhood really?

What Is Masculinity

Every man I’ve encountered has been puzzled by the whole concept of “masculinity.” Okay, they understand what masculinity is, however, many of them are confused by what women find to be masculine. And you know what, I completely agree with them. But the same thing can be said for femininity, what is it exactly? There’s no actual answer for it because everyone has their own ideas of what is masculinity or femininity.

When it comes to humans, nothing is what it seems. Women say they want a nice guy. However, not someone who’s a pushover.

If you’re rolling your eyes, I feel ya. What does that even mean? So, they want a nice guy but if you’re the nice guy, you know very well that they don’t want that… because you’re probably still single. But don’t worry, you’ll get your chance, just be patient. [Read: 15 reasons why nice guys finish last all the time]

What is masculinity? 10 traits that make you a man

So, with all these opposing thoughts, it seems like there is no definition of masculinity. But that’s where you’re wrong. At the end of the day, there is a consistent belief of what masculinity is that runs strong within women.

No, you don’t have to have a beard.

#1 Self-awareness. This is possibly the most important trait in a man: self-awareness. We all have flaws and bad days, but being aware of your behavior and how it affects others is a huge part of masculinity.

Assholes don’t give a shit about what they do to other people, but a man is someone who actually considers other people’s feelings. In other words, he acts like a human being. [Read: 12 tips to transform yourself from a nice guy to a real man]

#2 Proactive. A real man isn’t lying on the couch every day, waiting for his girlfriend to bring him a beer. Instead, he’s up and moving. He wants to do things with his life, he wants to enjoy the moments and get things done.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t sit down and crack open a beer. But you’re not letting your life waste away while everyone else is doing the work for you. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish around everyone who cares]

#3 He understands that a relationship is a partnership. Many men think that to be a man, you should be in control and dominant in a relationship. Which is wrong. A relationship is about two people in partnership. Both have good and bad qualities. But you support each other and use your strengths to work together.

It’s not about the man bringing home the bacon, it’s a team effort. A real man sees this and uses this partnership to benefit both people.

#4 Uses words over fists. I know that many men feel showing true masculinity is about not letting anyone walk all over you. Which is true, however, some people think the only way to do it is to physically fight it out. Which isn’t right.

I mean, there will be times when you’re placed in a position where you’ll have to fight to protect yourself, but if you’re intelligent, you can mostly talk your way out of any scenario. That’s a real man. Someone who doesn’t resort to violence right away but takes an alternative route to get them out of a sticky situation. [Read: What women find attractive: 16 traits girls instantly fall for]

#5 Values himself. A man loves himself. I mean, we all should learn to love ourselves, but for now, I’m focusing on men and masculinity. It’s not “feminine” to take care of yourself. It’s not “feminine” to eat healthy, exercise, and do things you love. Where did you get this information from? I mean, come on, it’s we’re almost two decades into the new century!

If you’re a real man, you understand the importance of taking care of yourself because, at the end of the day, no one takes care of you. You’re on your own, so better invest the time and energy in yourself.

#6 He’s independent. We all depend on people until a certain age. After that, it’s time that we develop our own independence and become secure with ourselves. This is what a real man does.

I had friends that were over thirty and still relying on their parents to cook them dinner and do their laundry. That’s still a boy. A man wants to learn how to be self-sufficient and able to provide for himself. [Read: Weak men and strong men – 13 opposing traits that split them apart]

#7 He’s there when he says. What is masculinity really? Well, it’s all about how much of a man he really is. And a real man is someone you can rely on. If they tell you that they’re going to call you tonight, they call. If they say they’re going to come over to help you paint your walls, they show up.

Empty promises are told by people who have yet to grow up. If you’re trying to develop “masculinity” it’s easy, just do what you say you’re going to do.

#8 He is focused on what he wants. A boy is someone who’s all over the place. He’s finding himself, fooling around, running from one place to another. That’s not a bad thing since everyone goes through that phase in their lives. However, a man is different.

They know what they want in life and know what is a waste of time. A man knows what he wants and understands that he needs to do things to achieve his goals. If you still sleep till two pm, living on your mom’s couch, you’re still in that teenage phase, but don’t force it, when you’re ready and tired of your current life, you’ll want to change. [Read: Defining true masculinity: What does it mean to be a man?]

#9 They’re secure with who they are. Being a man isn’t as complex as people think it is. It’s about loving and accepting who you are, flaws and all. If you’re secure with yourself, then that is the definition of being a man.

Mainstream masculinity tells you that you need a beard and drive a BMW, but that has nothing to do with it. Be secure with who you are and your values—that’s the ultimate masculinity. [Read: Here’s how you can be masculine without being a jerk]

#10 Knows that being a man doesn’t mean being an asshole. Some guys are a little mixed up in the head. They think women like assholes and there’s no doubt that some do, but many don’t. We do like playing games, but you don’t have to be an asshole to play them back, you just know where your boundaries are and say no when you need to.

That doesn’t mean you’re an asshole, you just have self-respect and know your worth. That’s not being an asshole. But for you fellas that think you must be an asshole in order to be a man, well, you’re wrong. Being an asshole doesn’t make you a man, it makes you an asshole.

[Read: How to be a mantle way he really should be]

Still wondering what is masculinity all about? Now that you have the basics down, don’t let mainstream society try to make you into some giant douchebag all for the sake of being masculine.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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